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The 29th Philosophers' Carnival

May 1, 2006, 7:49 PM

The great Library at Daylight Atheism has been outfitted for an auspicious occasion. Merry bunting drapes the tall shelves of books, balloons congregate near the ceiling, and waiters quietly circulate bearing trays of drinks. Already the symposium is in full swing, and philosophers from every era and society in human history are circulating around the room and chatting animatedly: ancient Greeks in togas and sandals, Enlightenment Europeans - the men in frock coats and powdered wigs and the women in elegant gowns - colonial Americans, Indians in saffron robes, East Asians from the Neo-Confucian period in robes and topknots, Muslim Sufis in white kaffiyehs and dusky hijabs, and a few modern luminaries in cardigan sweaters, t-shirts and blue jeans. A few senior philosophers are holding discourse with their younger colleagues beneath plaster busts that suspiciously resemble them.

A podium has been set up near the tall picture windows at one end of the room, beneath a banner reading, "Ubi Dubium Ibi Libertas". The windows offer a picturesque view of a verdant and sunny garden below, where a few early arrivals seem to have organized a friendly game of football on the lawn.

Your humble host, Ebonmuse, takes the podium and surveys the room. He rings a spoon against the side of a glass to call the meeting to order, and once everyone's attention has turned to the podium, clears his throat and begins to speak.

"Welcome, one and all, to the 29th Philosophers' Carnival here at Daylight Atheism! It's my honor to be here in the company of so many august minds. We have a selection of the finest philosophy writing from across the World Wide Web for your reading pleasure and intellectual stimulation. There are a great many worthy candidates to showcase in this edition, so without further ado, let's get to them!

The Philosophers' Carnival's inaugural blogger, Philosophy, et cetera, offers reasons to believe that the actual world is not a possible world in modal space but rather a fundamentally different kind of thing, in a post titled The Actual World is not a Possible World.

Next, In Search of Enlightenment brings us Our Enhanced Future, exploring the ethical concerns that may arise in the future as our ability to radically enhance the capabilities of human beings increases.

Antimeta offers Sets of Worlds, which considers the issue of possibility and set theory as it relates to logically possible and impossible worlds.

A Brood Comb writes in Why a neural network can't be conscious (2) that the ability to replay signals given to artificial neurons functions as a reductio against the possibility of an artificial neural network being conscious.

Philosophy of Real Mathematics, in More about MacIntyre, draws some lessons for the philosophy of mathematics from Alasdair MacIntyre's arguments against relativism.

In Heidegger and Kuhn, Mormon Metaphysics compares and contrasts Heidegger and Kuhn's approaches to philosophy of science, focusing on Kant and the issue of internalism/externalism.

Sago Boulevard argues in Betting on Vegetarianism that, contrary to Rik Hine's argument for vegetarianism, one is not obliged to refrain from merely possibly immoral activities.

Reality Conditions, in Chalmers, Dennett, and the Zombies, considers the views of David Chalmers and Daniel Dennett on the irreducibility of consciousness and argues that the former fails to consider the revisability of scientific concepts.

Obsidian Wings suggests an ethical primer in About Morality.

Certain Doubts muses on when one is qualified to differ with the leading lights of philosophy, in Disagreement with Philosophical Superiors.

The Shipwright Returns criticizes two bad arguments for hereditary monarchy.

The Boundaries of Language worries whether subject-sensitive invariantism about knowledge can be reconciled with our intuitive picture of the role of experts in society, in Bombscare.

The ambiguous DuckRabbit offers another list of 10 things everyone should know about philosophy.

Atopian.org criticizes moral particularism as stemming from a failure to properly apply Occam's razor, in Shaving Particulars.

Persephone's Box argues that the practice of giving wedding vows sets up an untenable and possibly harmful commitment, in Loved to Death.

Parableman writes in Ethics in a Multiverse that ethics would not be rendered meaningless even if multiple-universes models in cosmology or philosophy were true.

Moralhealth.com considers the question of whether the demand of a biological parent to have their adopted child returned to them does more harm than good, in Adoption and Cruelty: Is Blood Thicker than Water?

Goosing the Antithesis discourses on pride and humility, arguing that the traditional view of which of these is a virtue and which a vice is in error, in Pride and Humility Part 1.

And last but not least, Stop That Crow! criticizes Plato's arguments against democracy and argues that what other people in a democratic society believe matters to us, in What Others Believe.

That concludes this edition of the Philosophers' Carnival; much gratitude is due to all who participated. The next edition will be held at AnnieMiz in three weeks, so get those entries in!

Should you be interested in further philosophy writing in the meantime, I've been asked to inform everyone of the inaugural Online Philosophy Conference, which looks to be a fine and welcome addition to our own humble efforts. And, if I may ask your indulgence, I myself have been known to record some thoughts right here in the Library at Daylight Atheism, should you be interested. Until next time, fellow philosophers and friends!"


The 29th Philosophers' Carn...

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